The German Transport Minister expressed optimism on Friday that the dispute between Berlin and Brussels regarding the future of combustion engine cars running on e-fuels was nearing resolution, but noted that some questions still needed clarification.
Germany has been engaged in talks with the European Commission to allow registration of cars running on synthetic fuels beyond the 2035 deadline for sales of CO2-emitting cars, which was agreed upon by EU countries last year. Germany seeks an exemption for cars that run exclusively on climate-neutral e-fuel and legal assurances from the Commission.
While the European Commission sought to break the impasse with a new draft plan to allow sales of such combustion-engine cars after 2035, Germany’s transport ministry welcomed the EU executive’s proposals but asked for legislation to ensure its implementation.
The German Transport Minister noted that Berlin’s demand for an exemption had “now been answered by the EU Commission with a letter that makes me optimistic,” but added that there were still questions to be answered.
The minister and his FDP party argue that combustion engine technology should continue to be available to offer people more choices for carbon-neutral mobility in the future.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also expressed optimism that an agreement would be reached soon, while Economy Minister Robert Habeck believed the dispute had been resolved and the issue should be settled on Tuesday.
EU energy ministers are set to meet in Brussels on Tuesday and could sign off on the law.